If a day of sand and sun is what you’re after, head where the local go: City Seaview water park. Located within the Crab Island complex, City Seaview is an oasis of water-themed fun. Build sandcastles on the shore of the faux beach, be swept away in the wave pool or just read a book under a generously sized beach umbrella. When you’re all beached out, the surrounding Crab Island offers a range of family-friendly activities including go-karting and fishing. A short ten-minute drive from Lido, it beats having to trek out to Beihai to enjoy a day by the sea.
Enter Crab Island via the West Gate and head straight to the nearby City Seaview water park. Worth noting: The bus stop near the West Gate is currently under construction. The Crab Island stop has been temporarily moved, requiring passengers to walk an extra 15 minutes to get back to the gate. Avoid the hassle and travel by car.
The park covers an enormous 60,000 square meters and features six outdoor pools, a wave pool, a lazy river and a toddler pool. All of the pools are relatively clean but it’s best to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
For the thrill seekers, City Seaview features two water slides: one 20-meter-long water slide built especially for speed, and a second 30-meter-long winding slide. If low-key fun is what you’re after, a water wheel dunks water from buckets on expecting pool-goers.
The wave pool is the highlight of the park and is routinely packed with water-loving Beijingers. However, little nippers best stay poolside for this particular attraction as the waves can get quite rough. Safety conscious parents fear not: Lifeguards are scattered around the park, keeping a keen eye on swimmers.
Parents can take some time out to relax on the sand. City Seaview offers reasonably clean manmade sand beach and dozens of umbrellas, providing some much-needed shade. Remember to bring your own towels. For more sand-side fun, head to the outdoor beach volleyball court.
The showers and changing rooms may not be the pinnacle of cleanliness but they’ll do the trick. Electronic lockers are available for RMB 20 (RMB 10 deposit). Quell hungry tummies with a stop at the snack bar. Alternatively, bring a picnic and grill some steaks on one of the outdoor barbeques.
Once the kids have tired themselves in the pool, head out of the water park (you should see the parking lot just in front). Turn right, and keep walking until you see the lotus pond. When in bloom, the pond provides some beautiful photo opportunities. Located nearby is the outdoor fishing pond where kids can rent a pole and try to angle the catch of the day.
Return to the path and follow it to the Ecological Science Park. A small, kitschy zoo, the park houses monkeys, bunnies, llamas, camels, deer and other animals. A fairly small attraction, it won’t take long to cover.
Get back on the path and head towards the go-karting course. It’s not the most impressive dirt track ever, but cruising 500 meters in one of the karts is a blast.
Once you’ve fulfilled your need for speed, keep walking until you reach Crab Palace. Inside you’ll find a fishing area and 3 O’Clock Restaurant, which features dishes made from “organic” produce collected from the Crab Island farm. If you managed to catch your own fish in the indoor fishing area, the restaurant will fry it up for you.
It’s easy to spend a full day at City Seaview alone, so we forgive you if you can’t do the entire Crab Island tour. For future visits, try checking out the organic veggie picking, as well as the two amusement parks, five restaurants and the golf range. For now, it’s time to roll up your towel, dust off the sand and head back home.
Crab Island 蟹岛绿色生态度假村
Daily 8am-1am. 1 Xiedao Lu (take Weigou Exit off Airport Expressway and follow signs), Chaoyang District (8433 5566/5588) www.xiedao.com (Chinese only)朝阳区1号 蟹岛路 (苇沟出口)
City Seaview waterpark 海景城水上乐园
RMB 60, RMB 40 (kids under 1.4m), free (kids below 1m). Daily 9am-9pm. 1 Xiedao Lu (located beside Crab Island West Gate), Chaoyang District (8433 9689) www.cityseaview.net (Chinese only)朝阳区1号蟹岛路(西门)
Outdoor fishing 室外钓鱼池
Fishing poles: free (Mon-Thu), RMB 10 (Fri-Sun). RMB 14-35 (per half-kilo of fish caught). Daily 8am-6pm.
Ecological Science Park 科普中心
RMB 10. Daily 8am-6pm. (8432 5158)
Per 500m lap: RMB 20 (single person), RMB 30 (two people). Grass sledding: RMB 20. Daily 8am-6pm. (8432 5465)
Indoor fishing 室内钓鱼
Fishing poles: free (Mon-Thu), RMB 10 (Fri-Sun). RMB 18-68 (per half-kilo of fish caught), RMB 120-160 (fresh water crab). Daily 8am-6pm.
Three O’Clock Restaurant 三点钟餐厅
Daily 10am-2pm, 5-9.30pm. (8432 4507/5397)